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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201477 Find in a Library
Title: Human Remains Underwater
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:30  Issue:7  Dated:July 2003  Pages:102-104,106,108
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses underwater investigations using an interview with Ret. Cpl. Robert Teather of Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his book, “The Encyclopedia of Underwater Investigations.”
Abstract: The article begins by describing the first observations an underwater investigator should make when a body is located in the water. It is important to photograph and study the body before removing it from the water, when possible. Divers should initially observe the area and the body before touching the body or disturbing the area. Next, the article describes the normal body positions of drowning victims; if victims are found in other types of positions, criminal activity should not be ruled out immediately. A discussion of the types of fluids found in and around the body is also offered. The common types of abrasions found on drowning victims are described as caused by current and wave actions that move the body along rocks and other debris. The article also describes the common eye discolorations found in victims who have died in the air and those who have died underwater. By examining the eyes directly after recovering a body from underwater, investigators may detect whether the victim died on land or by drowning. Finally, the article discusses the presence of diatoms, single-celled organisms, which are found in the bone marrow of drowning victims. The article includes a textbox written by Ret. Cpl. Robert Teather on public safety divers.
Main Term(s): Death investigations; Underwater recovery
Index Term(s): Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques
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